1. It’s my own, unique way of paying tribute to Lore Sjoberg
A long, long time ago (approximately three epochs and an ice age by internet standards), an internet humorist by the name of Lore Sjoberg wrote jokes for an “e-zine” called The Brunching Shuttlecocks.
His largest contribution to the world, the infamous Book of Ratings.
In it, Sjoberg graded random and innocuous objects and wrote a short summary of why they received their grade.
I loved the Book of Ratings. Unfortunately, it has apparently faded from the collection of all human knowledge known culturally as “the internet.”
However, if you’re a used book enthusiast, there are a few copies still floating around the cyber-shelves at places like Amazon*.
2. Top 9 is one more exclusive than Top 10, but less needy than Top 8.
List posts are great for a lot of reasons. They help with things like SEO (that’s web jargon for getting free clicks) and they are relatively easy to write.
Of course, having a set restriction on the numbers provides its own unique challenges. I can almost always come up with five or six things to include on a list without really trying, but pushing for those last few can be require digging down deep.
I’m certain the number is actually arbitrary. If I set out to write a Top 5, I would probably struggle to get to three. If I was writing a Top 20, I’d probably peter out around 14.
For me, the challenge comes from the consistency.
3. Guaranteed Humor
You would think I’d have plenty of room to work humor into my other daily topics, but you’d be surprised. I’ve learned enough about myself to know that if I set out to be funny about something like male body image, I’m going to fail.
At my core, I’m still an angst-filled teen, or two…
Damn. I just realized I’m old enough to be two whiney adolescent boys now. That would explain the gray in my beard.
But, I like to be funny. The first Top 9 post I wrote, Top 9 Movies for Watching During Your Saturday Afternoon Nap, set the trend.
Fortunately, it is also my most popular blog posts of all time.
I call that “win-win”
4. I get to mess with click-bait addicts who come here expecting at least moderately well thought-out lists
When I first decided to write some Top 9 posts, I made a single rule:
“It must be done in a way that makes me feel a smug sense of satisfaction instead of like a slimy click-bait artist.”
Now, don’t get me wrong. I click on those Buzzfeed-esque “Top 873 Ways to Tell If Your Cat is Actually Satan” posts all the time. I’m as addicted to them as anyone else.
Hell, I spent a solid year where the only “news” I read was Cracked.com.
When it came down to it, I wanted to be more like Cracked than Buzzfeed but writing a Cracked article takes both talent and research.
So, instead, I put things up here. Sacrifices must be made.
5. “Research” might mean eating a bunch of different fried foods, watching 80s movies, or staring off into space while angry people scream about “green lights”
See the thing about writing a Cracked article above? To pull off a really good one, you have to have esoteric knowledge with some sort of inherent level of interest and intrigue.
I know what type of candy bar has coconut and what type of candy bar isn’t evil.
Fortunately, since I get to play loose and fast with my own rules, I can pretty much do what I already do and come up with a great Top 9 topic.
Better yet, I can go out on official, honest-to-goodness “business research lunches” to discover something like, “The Top 9 Paper Napkins Provided by Pizza Places in The City.”
That’s called be a smart business person.
6. These have been surprisingly popular blog posts in the past
As I said above, my first Top 9 is my most popular blog post (traffic-wise) of all time. And though none of my other Top 9 posts have come close, the comments, discussions, and email chains they’ve spawned are enough to make a man think he might be on to something worth torpedoing.
Considering something like Top 9 Mundane Objects Responsible for the Downfall of Mankind even got some comment love, I’m not going to complain.
7. I actually forgot how much fun this is when you take it to extremes
I lied about researching these things… sort of. I did some research for this post. Mostly, I went back and skimmed through a couple of my other Top 9 posts.
I completely forgot how absurd and stupid they were.
Which is why I like them.
Side note: By going back through those old posts, I realized I am just a few Top 9 posts shy of having enough to write a Top 9 Top 9 Posts on MABrotherton.Com.
Look forward to that in the future.
8. These articles make it easy to satisfy a word count goal
864 Words. That’s where I’m at on the word count for this post before I started writing this sentence. Which means each section of this Top 9 list averages more than 100 words.
Take that, evil-voice-in-my-head-that-chastizes-me-for-not-even-writing-1000-words-per-day!
9. Because a Commenter Told Me To
So, the final reason for Top 9 lists is because a reader told me I should write Top 9 lists.
Specifically, she proposed them as a writing challenge.
I think she meant for me to write them a little more honestly, with topics like “My Top 9 Books.”
And maybe I will, someday, in the future. The deep, dark future.
Because writing a Top 9 Books seems like a great way to work in a bunch of Amazon affiliate links, and who doesn’t like getting the tiny piles of cash from that?
There you have it! My “Top 9 Reasons to Make Top 9 Lists With Extreme Niche Appeal”
I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will enjoy it again in the future.
Because I’m not going to stop and you can’t make me.
*This is an affiliate link. Bloggers need things. Things like pizza rolls and Funko Pop! collectibles. Those things don’t pay for themselves.